Admeld Passed on Google Acquisition

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admeldADOTAS – It’s become the fashionable thing to turn down a Google acquisition offer: Mark Zuckerberg brushed off Big G’s offer for Facebook years ago, Twitter reportedly balked at a puny price, Yelp said forget it and even Groupon stuck up its nose (though after its Super Bowl ad debacle, a Valentine’s Day flower deal that angered users and ground lost to rival LivingSocial, the Groupon guys are likely regretting saying no).

Add revenue optimizer and RTB platform Admeld to the list of companies saying “Hell no!” to Google. According to Business Insider, Admeld considered $150 million to $200 million too low a price.

Admeld has generated a lot of attention of late for its private ad exchanges built and operated for The Weather Channel and the IDG TechNetwork. On the launch of TWC’s private exchange, CEO Michael Barrett told us, “The private exchange enables a premium publisher to operate ‘above the fray’ by engaging with a select pool of programmatic buyers in exactly the way they want.”

And that seems to be exactly what major publishers want. AdExchanger’s John Ebbert reported from the AdMeld Partner Forum last week that branded publishers such as CBS “appear to be ready to put the pedal to the metal in the data-driven ad world in a new way, as long as they feel they have control.”

In conjunction with its Partner Forum, Admeld released a study with Forrester Research that estimated RTB spend would more than double in 2011 — from $353 million in 2010 to $853 million.

Apparently Google is now courting Admeld competitor Pubmatic. It’s quite interesting that Google wants a revenue optimizer/supply-side platform — the RTB component could be a boon to the Google Display Network, which is still well behind display leaders Facebook and Yahoo in terms of impressions served.

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